Tuesday, April 11, 2017

*Top Ten Tuesday* The Most Unique Books I've Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Joood - Hooligan of Platypire reviews bossed me into doing this, so I guess this is a thing I do now. 

This weeks theme is the most unique books I've read. I have a feeling this is going to be a hard list to compile, and it might actually be somewhat short because I want to make sure I'm including books that felt really unique to me.

The first book to come to mind for me is definitely The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. It would best be described as absurd science fiction. I mean, it's a trilogy in five parts for crying out loud. That alone is a bit weird.

I was first introduced to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy my freshman year of high school. One of my uncles mailed me a copy while I was stuck in bed on a burn unit after rolling a minivan for almost two weeks. It was actually the perfect reading material for a person on pain medication because it didn't require a lot of deep thinking, which can be kind of hard to do when one is on pain medication.

Another book that was a bit of a stand-out for me was Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison. I mean, as far as memoirs go, it was pretty standard fare (humorous stories with a few life lessons learned along the way). What I found unique about it is just how much dirt was included about life in the Playboy Mansion. Most tell-alls that aren't just about the authors life end up feeling rather watered down in my opinion, but this didn't. And yes, I realize that this is just her take on things and might not be entirely accurate, but it's certainly better than trusting the stories in Us Weekly or other gossip rags, right? And like I said in my review, with as much backlash as it received from Kendra Wilkinson, it must have something juicy worth reading. 

Next up is Nerve by Jeanne Ryan. This book really stood out to me because while it's sort of science fiction, it's from the very near future mostly using existing technology from today. So while most science fiction is interesting to imagine, it doesn't fully feel real, but this did. This is almost like Big Brother on steroids in a way, and I can absolutely understand why it was made into a movie. It also has some very relevant lessons for teenagers who use social media (which is basically all of them right?) today. I would honestly recommend this book to any YA fans out there, even if you don't usually like science fiction, because it really does feel more like a contemporary novel than science fiction. And for that, it's unique.

My next book, Blackwell by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor is on my list for reasons that I can't even actually talk about because it would just spoil the whole book. Suffice it to say that the ending really surprised me knowing what I know about this book. I also feel like I don't find a lot of gothic historical fiction, but maybe I'm just not looking hard enough for that. That really could be on me.

Next up is Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral. This book is definitely unique. The story is told almost exclusively through pictures, and it's not 100% clear what the story was actually about. It's not uncommon for books to leave me with questions at the end, but I still usually feel like I knew what it was about to begin with. With this one I might be way off base, and unless I can talk to the author personally, I'll probably never know (and even if I did talk to the author directly, they probably wouldn't tell me anyway because authors are fickle like that. Props to Sofia the Great from Platypire Reviews for recommending this book to me though. Without her, I wouldn't have it for my list.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly was another outstandingly unique read for me. This historical fiction is told from the points of view of three different women during and immediately after World War II, and I found that approach in itself to be rather unique. The basic story was a bit more "normal", although there were a few bright spots in there as well, and I would have likely been upset if the plot itself hadn't followed the standard WWII formula (and since I've read a lot of fiction set during WWII, I'm quite familiar with said formula.) If you're only going to read one book set during WWII though, I would recommend it be this one.

Much like Lilac Girls, The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig follows three different points of view, but the three characters we follow live during different time periods, and have a single room in common. In addition to following three different women, the story is told in rotating chapters, with a mystery building through all three timelines simultaneously. And there are clues from the earlier timelines that affect the later timelines, but some clues from the later timelines to help you try to figure out the mystery from the earlier timelines. It was just masterfully put together, and I would never have thought it had three different authors if I didn't know about that going in.

Fairytale and classic story retellings are not anything new, but they're not typically as gory and frightening as Alice by Christina Henry in my experience at least. Henry's take on the Alice in Wonderland story left me in awe, and a little bit worried for her sanity. A person has to be at least a little bit mentally twisted to think of the things that Henry did, and those things were twisted. Seriously though, if you like your fairytale retellings to be dark and twisted, get this book. You won't regret it.

There is no way The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern was not making this list. I have never read anything quite like The Night Circus, and it had me so enthralled that I wish the circus itself were real. I so desperately want to visit it in real life. If someone could create even a facsimile of it that came at least a little close to capturing the magic and wonder, I would absolutely visit it as often as I could possibly afford (if the location were closer to where I live, that would help me to visit it more often, and it really would have a be a stationary circus I think.) I bet I'm not alone in that desire either. And normally I'm content to just visit the places described in books within the pages of the books, but not in this case. In this case, I really want it to be real.

The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur may not actually be a unique story, but I'm not sure I've ever read a book that spanned decades like this one did and held my hostage quite as well. The blurb for this book had me on the edge of my seat from the beginning, trying to guess who the shooter was going to be, and I thought I had it figured out really early on. And then I changed my mind a half dozen times. But this book is part romance, part literary fiction, and one hundred percent awesome. But you should be warned that Ms. Laqueur throws a whole lot of shit at her characters because she insists on only brewing her coffee with readers tears (and that's the easiest way to collect them.) I read this book over two years ago, and I'm still torn up over the events that transpired (so much so that I haven't even been able to finish Give Me Your Answer True, Daisy's side of the story, yet because I'm not ready to relive that heartache again.)

So, I'm going to end my list here as that is ten books and at some point I should prove to y'all that I actually can count to ten for real. I'm sure if I looked further into my list of books I've read on Goodreads I would find many more that I felt were really, truly unique, but again, I need to prove to you guys that I can count to ten. My honor is at stake here!

What are some of the most unique books you've ever read, and what made them so unique? - Katie 


  1. I have Night Circus on my shelf but when will I get to it? I really must.


    1. I have several books on my shelf that I need to read too, but never seem to be able to find the time. The Night Circus is really good though! - Katie

  2. I read Chopsticks a few years ago and I definitely agree that it was unique! I love love love The Night Circus. It's one of my favorites!
    My Top Ten

    1. I think The Night Circus is one of my favorites now too. It's just soooooooooooo good. - Katie

  3. Can I say how happy I am to see Douglas Adams popping up on the lists today? He's one of my all-time favorite authors and one of the few I'll re-read. I just have to wonder how weird that book was while on pain meds. It was pretty weird without them. :D

    The Night Circus was such a good book, too. :)

    Here is my TTT. Thanks!

    1. I don't know...Being on pain meds might have made all the weirdness seem more reasonable :) It's been almost 18 years though, so I can't really say for sure if it was more or less weird because of the pain meds. This is one of the few series that I find myself wanting to re-read too. - Katie

  4. Hi! Chopsticks looks fun! I just read my first retelling- it was also of Alice and Wonderland. It was an ARC for Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles. I recommend it! It's like reading an action movie :)
    My TTT

    1. I will have to check Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles when it releases. I love retellings. - Katie

  5. I was so close to adding Chopsticks to my list this week. :)

    Lauren @ Always Me

    1. I feel like it was kind of made for this topic! :) - Katie